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Tariq Ramadan Education. (2012) 'Islam and the Arab Awakening.' New.

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Us 14, Israel 12, Egypt 10, Tunisia 10, America 9, Syria 8, Europe 5, United States 4, Richard Nixon 3, Sharia 3, France 3, Iran 3, Bahrain 3, Turkey 3, United States Of America 2, Bashar Allah 2, Iraq 2, Islam 2, Romney 2, Kandahar 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Tariq Ramadan  Education.  (2012)  
   'Islam and the Arab Awakening.' New.  

    September 15, 2012
    8:30 - 9:29pm EDT  

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republicans the bible the south the west boy scouts girl scouts honesty success the second amendment pools and patios the suburbs freeways baby seniors taking risks small businesses american toyotas immigrants teachers doctors patients algae bright lights of the berlin wall charity profit talk radio american military founding fathers the state constitution the e pluribus unum apple pie and america. god bless america, these united states. thank you very much everybody. i hope you get the book. [applause] mike has agreed to take a couple of questions before we get out of here. the first one, right here. >> we did not bring issues.
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>> where is chick-fil-a? >> it was getting too cold. we will make the diet that i could hear your answer because there were too many -- prius is clicking by. what was your answer about why they don't have any conservative moderators in the upcoming debate? >> it's a perfect metaphor for the machine we are up against. if you expect this is going to be an easy ride for governor romney, it's not in its unbelievable there are going to be liberals who are going to be moderating the debates. the bardot is a so much higher for governor romney then it is president obama and we know that going in and we have to accept that it's tough. >> the next question over here. 's vi of the quick question. my first question is what is this thing between you and hewitt concerning the -- [inaudible] >> apparently you're not you are not supposed to say his name
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because he moved the browns franchise to baltimore city takes that very personally but let me tell you something, hugh hewitt has been so kind and gracious and he is a great friend of mine and we were playing back and forth that he was great to promote tonight's event. he was the driving force behind the library and he is one of the best in the business. he's a great guy. >> why did you stop at 50? >> first edition, first edition. if this book does well we will do a second edition i hope. >> what the's the secret to winning in november? >> we talk about raising the bar. we have to get everybody to vote. i can tell you how many people i meet around the country hard-working people, dishwashero say i've never voted but this is the air have to vote for mitt romney. this is the year i have to vote. the enthusiasm is there. we just have to translate and that into literal votes and i say this all the time.
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it's very important to me. don't minimize or underestimate the power of prayer. prayer works. [applause] i dedicated "50 things liberals love to hate" to longtime listeners of my show. i lost a niece two years ago to cancer and i wrote in the book that the book is dedicated to my knees. love last year she was sick the radio audiences knew she was sick and never praying for her regularly. i asked her, we don't have to talk about this on the air and she said go ahead navy it will inspire the people because everybody's touched by cancer. in the year she was sick she was never in pain. she was never frightened. she was not superman and i was not -- superwoman but i will go to my grave thinking she was strong because of t power of prayer, lifted her through a very difficult time and now i know she is looking out of for
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me and hoping the book is a bestseller and praying and guiding me but take it from a prayer works. we need to pray for our country and our leaders. [applause] see one more question and then we will get out of here so he can sign. >> we are going to sign books in front of the "time" magazine wall. >> before we do each of you has one of these applications underneath your seat. if you could help up foundation are really helps us out and if you could sign up, you can pay $50 to $5000. one-of-a-kind individually numbered commander in chief cab. here is the last question and then we will have a signing. >> right now we are in the nixon library. richard nixon is probably one of the most hated people in american history if you are liberal but his accomplishments include are almost entirely liberal. for example he embraced the
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great society, he made nuclear arms -- with the soviets and so on and senator hughes got himself a liberal in 1970 said under richard nixon's -- [inaudible] why doesn't richard nixon rank high in the liberal pantheon? >> i will simply say this. i've been blessed and honored to tour around the country and tomorrow i will be flying to new york and be a guest with sean hannity to talk about the book in the book signing and then long island and i was in texas and ohio. i will tell you something this visit tonight and especially blessed by this room of wonderful patriots who came out to hear her speak tonight, the nixon library parents is going to go down in 2012 is the single best appearance of my entire book tour and i'm proud to be here. very proud to be here. [applause] and a real honor to be in this beautiful beautiful place in this wonderful tribute to president nixon.
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the staff has been extraordinary and hospital -- hospitable and i'm honored to spend time with you talking about my book "50 things liberals love to hate." thanks for coming out. i will see you at the book signing. god bless america. >> before we go those of you have who have come to our events no it is not -- it's the great gifts we give them. they are available in the store. be sure to grab one. mike mike will be upfront. [applause] tariq ramadan president of the european muslim never talks about the causes behind arab spring and the role he thinks islam will play in the future the country. now a booktv. this is just under an hour.
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[applause] >> thank you. can you hear me? not really. can you hear me? okay, thank you so much for being here with us this evening, talking about this series pacific topic and complicated issue when it comes to trying to understand what happened and what is happening in the middle east in the north african countries and what is the way forward. the book is not only about understanding what happened but also to think about what are the challenges ahead when it comes to democratization in the middle east and the future. having said that and this very date where we were thinking about what happened in this country, once again after september 11, and that much before but after september 11 we have the perception and
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connecting islam to violence and terrorism and violent extremism. it is the right time to speak about not the tiny that tiny minority that is killing the massive demonstrations of people in egypt and tunisia and syria asking for dignity, justice and freedom. these are most of the muslims so it is talking about millions as a response to the tiny minority of the people that are not representing islam for the great great majority of muslims around the world. so it is also unanswered that we have to get from within the muslim countries. having said that, when i thought of writing the book, i was trying to get a sense of what was happening and of course i decided to deal with the facts. as it was said what happened in
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tunisia with the assimilation -- that we didn't know anything about what was happening in tunisia, in egypt and we were caught by surprise. it is quite clear that this is not the real picture of the whole process. in fact, years before, and in fact we didn't take seriously what the president bush was saying in 2003 when he was saying we want democracy in the middle east. he said that when he was talking about iraq but in fact he meant it and we sometimes, we didn't really listen to bush reducing his statements to the perception we had of him, forgetting that he is representing a system. he is representing an administration. this administration was pushing and is still pushing for many reasons not only political, anything which has to -- today
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to do with organization in the region and the bloggers who were pushing and spreading around this feeling that something should change in egypt and tunisia and even in syria or in yemen, many of them -- google, freedom house were training people and financing the training of people who are advocating democracy and liberating the country and they were trained by american organizations, european organizations and if we were to study what happened in eastern europe where is the whole process of what is called the european spring, the eastern european spring, you can see that there was behind it a philosophy. no one had heard, enough people
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have heard about popovich who was getting the sense of of how do we mobilize the people in order to push for massive demonstrations in the country? so the fact that this was not the fact, on the other side that it was organized is wrong as well. this is very far from the conspiracy theory but i don't want to be naïve that it came from the people all of a sudden, the western governments were so happy to see the people being democrats in egypt when for three decades they were supporting the dictators themselves. what they did with egypt and what they did with so many dictators, they were supporting them because there was an an interest in economy, so to deal with this and to be very cautious with wording. i was not buying from the very beginning this perception the
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arab spring are revolutions. i started by saying let us be cautiously optimistic. something is happening which is great and what is great as what i call in the book and in the title the awakening. the awakening is the awakening on the arab intellectual revolution with people understanding yes it's possible to get rid of dictators and it's possible to change a country. that cannot be changed. this year something which is a legacy, a ship which is very promising for now and for the future. now to speak about the revolutions that are achieved and i don't know, i still don't know. so i don't know today of what is happening in egypt is an unfinished or in achieved revolution. i don't know what is happening in tunisia, that we can be very very quick in defining.
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revolutions take time and we have to be cautious and try to understand that many dimensions have to be considered. indeed i mention not only political but our obsession with the political apparatus, the political dimension is making us forget the economy and the geostrategic factors. there would be no democracy in the region if we don't have economies so to open up the countries or to open the market through democracy is something we do in africa. it happened before so -- we are very happy these people have adjusted to freedom and we don't care about which kind of political economy policy and which kind of new positioning we will get in the global economy, something which is very naïve and we have to be very cautious with this. so this is where i am dealing with the terminology at the beginning of the book as being
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cautious. be careful with something which is not as easy and something happened which is an intellectual revolution because i have to speak about revolution and want to say it's an intellectual revolution. it's a mindset that is changing and we have to, with this to hope the new generations are going to -- this is the beginning of the book and also saying that you know to tell us for example that mubarak didn't know about what was happening, to view a strong. many people arrested on the mubarak regime because they were trained in the west and when they came back they were arrested so they knew that something was happening that even the american ambassador in cairo sent a note to the american government saying there are young people who want to get rid of the mubarak regime before september of 2011 so these were
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the 2008, three years before. so we were not aware of what was happening but so many analysts dealing with the issue were saying, egypt is going to implode because the it economic situation, corruption, unemployment, poverty. we have to look at the whole dimension with a bit more critical take on the way it was covered by the media. this is the second thing that i am trying to analyze in the book, is the discussion and the way we were looking and we are still looking at the air of countries in the muslim countries. as i was analyzing and trying to get the sense of the debate, there was something that we still have now and what we have now is this discussion about
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liberalization in the debate. it's as if we reduce everything into our words between the secularists and islamists. if you want to understand the political landscape there, you have progressive secularists and backwards islamist so i think it's not only coming from the west. this is the problem. when i visited tunisia and when i was dealing with people in algeria or in egypt, we had polarization and the vision is not coming from a perception that something which is happening within the arab world itself. this is a problem because at the end of the day the polarization is not only misleading, it's making the political debate very superficial. because you and that talking to secularists and they explained to justify the political presence by saying do you know what? we are progressive, we have
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universal values and these people are backward, reactionary and want to impose a theocracy. so their justification about their political presence is we are against them. so it's the justification by the opposition and if you go to the islamist and they have exactly the same position. we are "the guardian" of islamic tradition and these people are westernized. they come with the idea of the west and we are assisting so we have on one side people defining their political presence through the opposition or by the opposition to the islamist and islam is "the guardian" of religion justifying their presence and their political role by resisting the organization that's it. what takes you closer to the main problems we have in this society? what is the policy? we don't have answers. the only thing is these people
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are -- polarization is reducing the political discourse into something which is very -- and not only the arab world is falling into that trap but we in the west we see that through this lens and we say okay do you know what? egypt is endangered. too many women are wearing the headscarf is now, so the symbols become than i make within the society. i'm sorry to tell you the media coverage is too often the case that we are reducing the reaction to the country on headscarves, symbols, how many women and how many men and what is your position on sharia and if you use the term its order so that is the reality of the simplistic discussion that we have. but once again what i am saying to the muslim in the arab world
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you cannot get the west to reduce the discourse but that's is exactly what is happening in the muslim countries. this is the problem so by going beyond this, polarization is fair and we have to go beyond this and come with the true questions that we have to face. this is the second part of the book. i'm trying to tackle the way forward, what are the critical questions that we have? we have at least five main areas where we have to deal with critical questions and they are not simple. remember 10 years ago when erdogan came into turkey and many people were saying he is an islamist and he is going to impose sharia. after 10 years no one is talking about imposing or implementing sharia because he said i'm a muslim, i'm a democrat. democrat. i'm a muslim democrat. as much as you are having people being christian and democrats and their christian democrats,
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and it is not a contradiction in terms. now we acknowledge the fact that what is happening in turkey is not a contradiction. why? he is respecting the secular system working from within and and of democrats with islamic reference and at the same time trying to promote the rule of law within the country to work against corruption and more transparency and not imposing, even respecting the constitution as constitution as the laws that were implemented and being very successful on the economic side. so no one today is talking about the islamist implementing sharia. what was said about turkey by the way, and i'm saying this without ideology and if you read the book you will see i'm quite critical about some of the decisions and some of the policies that are implemented. when i was asked about what is happening in egypt, there is no
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good model even in the united states of america if you were serious about freedom, dignity and also the power of the states. i'm ready to talk about and i will come to that point about raising the state from religion but if you separate or separator distinguished the state from religion tell me what you put instead of religion because what we are facing in the west now and they all know this as citizens, i live in europe, you live in the united states of america and we all mother problem we have with our democracy now is not the decision of religion but some of the decisions of transnational cooperation and economic power that are deciding with fatter being able to say anything. we are still today dealing with power beyond the democratic or seizures.
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the banks, national corporations and their facing -- for example in greece, in spain and in italy we have technocrats. we never elected them but money is driving them. we also have to deal with the simplistic answer when it comes to separating religion from states. what do you have? imposing decisions onto the states which is also imposing a decision onto us as citizens of this idealization of western democratic model i would say because his. we all have to deal with problems and crises so i wouldn't push the arab world for blindly the model. be very critical and try to take the best from the other models. having said that, five problems in the first one is the
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discussion about the nature of the states and why i was referring to erdogan, erdogan is referring to islamic states and if you listen now to what is coming from tunisia and what is coming from egypt, we don't speak about it and we don't talk about islamic states. they are talking about the civil state with a reference. this is what they are saying so the civic state means religion is now going to be imposed. having said that, are we playing with words or are we now really talking about something which is the state is a bottom up delegation of power and religion and something coming from on high and it has power on the decisions of the states. what is coming from the new islamist and some sociologist,
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this is -- i don't know when it is ending but we have some problems here with terminology. the point is they are referring to islam and there are critical questions that we have to ask when it comes to the prerogative of the states in which we are dealing with. my point here is to say the muslim countries should be quite clear on six main principles that are nonnegotiable. the first one is the rule of law and the second is the equal citizenship for all the citizens come, all the citizens. muslims, people of faith or people of no faith of all. the third one is universal suffrage. the fourth one is accountability. when you're elected your elected to come back to the citizens to be checked, not to be democratically-elected for life.
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so this is what we have. the fifth one is judiciary authority as we know it and differentiating the state from religion when it comes to power. meaning by this is not because you are separating and you are divorcing the two and by the way in the united states of america you know that the separation of of -- secularism. for example when you talk about this in france they laugh at you and say we are the only secular society. the united states of america is not a secular society because you can't say god bless france. you can't say that. that is confusing everything. so even though you can think about it, you can't say it. the relationship is important.
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and islamic countries -- do what i mean by divorcing is to have a technical reference and atheists, religious people, christians,, muslims are buddhas, i would like from our religious traditions to put more more -- so it's not imposing religion but it's having a reference in ethics. to separate religion from power doesn't mean you don't have ethics and policy so which kind of ethics and what could be a reference is a very key discussion especially when it comes to muslim countries. we have limits when it comes to freedom of expression and you know all the discussions we have now been tunisia. so this is one -- so this is a very important discussion that we need to have and we have now the islamist
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groups but also the secularists. sometimes they are not clear on this because i was facing secularists and they were always justifying their position. i say okay it's not because you are liberal that you are politically democrat. some of the secularists were supporting dictators. for years some of them, so they were saying to the west we are progressive. we are against the religious imposition but they were supporting some of them, not all of them because some of them are resisting so we have to be very cautious not because it means you are going to support the principle that i was mentioning now and i think we have to get answers from on the political actors in the muslim majority countries. the second is a very important one about an economic vision for the future because if you look
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at the islamist today there is something which is quite clear. they are all accepting the free market in the liberal system. the first one is erdogan himself, he is now making -- with the e.u. didn't want him and didn't want turkey. the e.u. is much more in need of turkey than turkey as you see it and it's a very important point. why? because he is doing very well and the economy. is this the answer? do we want the markets market to be open and this is what we mean by democratization or do we want economics. they? by point is to go go to the imf and the world bank and enter within the system could be a problem in the future. and we know that islam is or not a problem with the west as much as they are liberals and capitalist. we know this and you have an example and i keep on repeating
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this and have been repeating this because you know from the states, i am still banned from saudi arabia for the criticism that i'm making to a country which is an ally of the united states of america. no one cares about the status of women in saudi arabia and saudi arabia and qatar because they are protecting our economic interests. so you can be a conservative there. you can ban women from driving cars as you are protecting our oil and our economic interests. at the end of the day they aren't saying there is no democracy in islam but they have the right to an economy. we have to be serious about this because at the end of the day what is coming from islam now is that they are not resisting the economic power. they are not resisting the
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transnational cooperation. they are ready for it and it's my belief that because they are ready we can meet with them. there is another thing which is important in the economic side and this is what i'm saying about the arab awakening. if we keep on talking about the political structure and not about the economic challenges we are misled in the whole discussion. ..
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are laying a an important role in the region. we don't talk about it. there's a shift here and for many reasons, it has -- it's going have an impact on the country, on the relationship between israel and the other countries because remember, china has not the same relationship to israel than the united states of america. so this is a very big concern. what is is going to happen in the region? we have to take these seriously. it's not only political and economic. so this is second point. -- the current president of tunisia. i don't have a problem with the with the rule of law and the transparency, this is one. my main problem is not the fact that they were refer to it. my main problem with them is the
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take on the liberal economy. they are ready for that. this is my problem. either secular have a problem with the -- because they are conservative on religious terms and liberal on economy terms. for all indication means also to struggle against poverty instead of having jihad against enemies it's jihad for essential. this is what i'm saying about women. i was talking about the industry, i'm sorry the only way you are going to evaluate and to
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assess empower of women in muslim countries is on two things. it has nothing to do with the way they dress. it has to do with access to litigation and access to the job market. this is where we want people to be. and the secular not coming with answers and comes with answers that are credible and efficient on these. this is a big question. when is your educational policy. in which you are going invest and promote something which is also to reassess the religious way of the teaching of religion in the society. and on this is going to be a big problem. we have two challenges on the field. the divisions between the literalists and the reformist and the sunni and the racialist division from women and the big divide between shii had and sunny is going to be one of the big challenges. the fourth one about culture. and i think that arabs, and
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muslims are not taking this seriously. we are facing a world culture that is very much penetrating every sector within the society. if you look at the arab world, we have a problem. the arabic language, arabic literature, the book. it's the creativity where are the arabs when it comes to movie, art, when it comes to entertainment and the democracy not about rules only about rights. it's about feeling god and being creative and producing something if our section of the world. who is promoting this? it's a challenge. it's a big challenge. we center have to talk about art and beauty. it's part of the democracy thing. it has to do with freedom and a sense of belonging within the society. it's neglected in the discussion. i think the last one, the field that is coming out of all of this process is something that is covering the whole thick is the way we deal with
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corruption. because it's the starting point and the end of the whole process. corruption is one of the main challenges in the arab world. but a you deal with -- look at the people. they are corrupt. but the daily corruption that we experience in the arab world is something that all know. we have to deal with this. it's ethics of scholarship. th iblgs of civil society. ethics everywhere. it's the way i say islam would play a role in being an ethical reference. not by closing and being a framework where we cannot just think but being a preference where it gives reference and principles and help the people to do something which is the future. having said that, my last point is let us work together. celebrate the principlings, the six principles i mentioned. celebrated the shift, the mind set, this intellectual revolution by saying one thing which is important.
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the another the end of the day, we are promoting shared universal principle bus it's not about us deciding for the people which kind of democracy models they are in the future inspect is their business. for the egyptian to find their political model that is referring to their history, their collective psychology, their culture, they need to find a model. it's for us go to iraq and tell the people this is the only right democracy model you need. we know how it should be. it's not this. this is imperialist, this is still cool lommization. this is intellectual. let the people find the model. let us be part of the discussion. and this is why i'm in europe as well and i'm sharing this with you because i think that all of us as citizens we have a role to play. by being critical about our own experience as democrats and as citizens. by seeing in our society the
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failures, the undermining process of us being citizens and seeing people deciding for us by saying we have to be critical and at the same time to be very clear on any one who is not advocating violence ored a rotating freedom, dignity, and e rights has the right to be part of the political discussion in the arab world. it's not for us to say you are the good democrat or you are the good muslim. or the bad muslim. this is once again not going help anyone in the future. thank you. [applause] [applause] i enjoyed your talk very much. what i'd like you to do is talk more about bringing women in to the running of things because it seems to me that most of your
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radiology use, for instance, have male idols and, you know, in the leader role. and it wasn't until, you know, 1920 that women got vote in the country. if you don't let them in, they just don't seem to have much influence. if you do let them in, you gate different version from the male. the male a lo -- it's behind the war weaves had. it's behind a lot of the troubles we've had. and the crimes and stuff. so if you put the women in, groirng get a different viewpoint. i'd like you to comment on it. >> i completely agree with your conclusion. i would be more cautious about the by lodge school explanations. [laughter]
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the serious point is about being more involved and i greetly agree with this. we have to be serious about this, and we have to rely on facts and figures when it comes to when a society is doing well. if you look at the facts and figtures when it comes to education and when it comes to agricultural. when it comes to every dimension of being efficient. when you allow the women to be involved or doing better than men. the facts are here. it's in agricultural, it's in education. not only in muslim and turkey countries, not only in the global south, look at what is happening in the west. we have muslim women being have involved in education at the same level as men. the figures are clear, they are doing better than men. it's creating problems in the muslim community in the west. there are educators. i would say that having -- and
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starting with this as a principle, it's very important to try find a way to promote women. i would say don't be mislead by what is happening. the uprisings, women are very much instrumental in the square in tunisia. even in saudi arabia, even in monarchies, you have women educate and, more and more visible. the point is to promote the visibility through education and job -- and get them not a symbol be care wonderful symbols that are betraying the reality on the ground. i think this is where we have to come together. but what i would like from us in the west is not to say the only liberated women are the women who are like us. no, the liberated women are liberated women when they think, when they are ab stone mouse, they have empowered and can be
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practicing muslims and liberated women. we have to reassess our perception of who is free, and how they are free having started by this and this. we try to have a critical discussion and to mote the rights of women. i agree it should be done, and it also should be done in the way we deal with the religious sources in the book radical reform. i allocated one chapter on one and saying we have two problems, reduction of the -- literal understanding and protection of cultural on the texts of the cultural understanding and we have to deal with this. it's a critical challenge that we have here. i spent about ninety minutes before you go here looking through your book checking out facer individuals on the index. and on one page, you seem to say this there's no way that the democracy can take root in the middle east unless the
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palestinian problem is solved. my question is does mean it will be israel's fault if the democracy fails in the various countries? [laughter] >> it's good with your question. i agree with the first part and not with the conclusion. i said this. and let me put it clearly. very often the arabs and in the middle east they are explaining all the problems they have in the middle east by saying you know what? israel is the reason. so you come to the conflict that all of our problems are coming from israel. i'm saying the opposite. i think israel and the problem we have with our lack of -- is a consequence of many other problems. so it's a consequence. and the causes of all of this is that if you are serious about the process, what i mentioned all the challenges are there. i'm not naive.
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by saying remember what israel said when the people who are demonstrating, we have to support mubarak. because there is a problem here that everything which has to do with transparent dnl in the arab world will mean at the end. the great majority of the people are not going happy with israel policy. or the palestinian. and that israeli government. they know that. so if you want to deal with democracy in the middle east, you better reassess israel policy toward the palestinian. and it has to be solved because not db eastbound -- i'm not saying it's the cause. i'm saying it's the critical discussion that we have in the middle east and what is happening in syria, with a is happening in many countries around, has do with the palestinian issues. at the end of the day. my point here is to say that israel and i said it many times and it is one of the -- banned
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from the country by saying the united states of america should stop to support unilaterally israel. because israel is not doing a good service to freedom, dig if dignity and respect of people in the region inspect is my point. i stick to this. and i'm not trying to say that israel is to be blamed for this. but if we want to go to achieve something that has to do with transparent democracy in in the middle east, we have to solve the conflict in a way which is respecting the rise of the palestinians. >> sound like -- talk. i'm sorry that you end like this. you know my answer to the people who say i have a double talk? i'm just responding. you might have a double hearing. [laughter]
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[applause] [applause] good evening, professor, thank you for your talk. i'm a research associate with the public law, and international policy group. and my question pertains to syria. how do you characterize the ongoing conflict from there? recent news reports have characterized it as an emerging sectarian conflict. do you think that it is a conflict defined primarily in opposition to the government of president assad or do you believe it's a more emerging sectarian conflict in the region? >> look, when i was writing, you know, on my wshes, i was trying to write every week on article that was happening for eight months. the youth administration and the west were not really supporting a change in syria.
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you remember that for eight month, they were asking bashar allah assad to reform it was coming from the european countries and the state. at one point it was clear that the massive demonstration were not to be controlled. something has to be done because the people were not happy him. they change because they have to deal with who can we trust in the position? we have islamist and some who are very much against the american administration. so they took eight months to start dealing with the opposition and try to find people that they can trust. and the russian government and the chinese government department like what was done in libya. where after the nonfry zone it was used to enter completely dismissed and just nowhere in the libyan picture because it's divided between the states, can kandahar, the united nations,
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and france. and the starting point is about politics and go yo strategy. what happened afterwords is that all the readings of the political challengers where in sectarian mode. by saying and, you know, in my website and even when i wrote the book, i got so many criticism insults coming from muslims saying in fact you support the resistance because you sunni. and you like the saudi monarchies. and on the other side people from the shii had tradition saying we support bashar allah is sad because he's a supporters of the palestinian and the shii had tradition. became something which is a sectarian reading the of the whole thing. i think it's very dangerous.
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i allocated one section in the book about this between she had and sowne. it's one of the great challenging of our comings years. i don't see enough scholars and intellectuals. i don't see enough public figure and people being ready to save. shii had and sunny, we are muslims all together and we have to stick to some principles. it's not because he's supporting shed that we can't support a dictator. so bashar allah sad is a dictator. we have to get rid of dictatorship and he has to be removed and find a way in syria. but i would say exactly the same in bahrain. or the people who sell the what was done in bahrain by saying you know shii had against sunny. we have to accept what is happening. i'm sorry that's not right.
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that's -- it's not because the people are -- it's right for sunny to oppress them. we have to stick to principles and come to shared prints. s that we are. but not playing was intra, you know, religious divisions and now happening in the middle east is going to have an important role between lebanon, syria, and iran and all the other countries in the monarchies. some monarchies are playing nasty role in the whole thing. in saudi arabia, kandahar are i'm sorry i think we have to be cawrnlg use to say that's not acceptable. we have to stick to principles. "the dictators" and whoever are the people. [applause]
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mr. rom ram -- and protection of minority rights given the pins principles why should we have any optimism whatsoever about the creation of the democracy in muslim majority countries where god is sovereign and where these countries have an abominable history of oppression of religious minorities for centuries? and where that oppression is evidence today in a list of countries. saudi arabia, iran, egypt, iraq. >> look. ic we have to be very cautious not to take examples in history as defining a religion or civilization. because if i was to do this with
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an the american civilization i would -- if i was to do this -- no. no. it's no at political -- no. sorry? no. no. >> delighted to the -- our history of religious liberty as a posed to those in the country of -- i am please compare them and you'll see a tremendous dirvets. >> can i answer? just the native americans about the way were treated. but that's not the point. that's not the point. the point is we have to be intelligent you'llly fair and e qipted when it comes to deal with history renner and not reduce history to what happened and what question see now. because in the arab world, for century, the jews, and the christians were much more respected than they were in europe. they felt serious about history. look at the middle ages where
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europeans had to learn. but the point is why should we trust now the arabs, i'm not asking you to trust. i'm asking you to be objective and to check. and to check what could be done and if now you decide that the arabs because they are muslims, they are not going respect minorities. s that over. just send them dictators. but few f now you get that from within the islamic tradition, you have a very long tradition of dealing with diversity. respecting people from out of face, and opening up. if you think this is possible, what i'm asking you not blindly hope but to critically support. this is what i'm trying to do. so when you ask me why should i trust, i say no, don't trust blindly. please don't traject on to them -- that are coming from very wrong perception about the
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other. that's the only thing i'm asking. >> except my camps were modern. i don't think you addressed my modern examples i gave. [applause] >> sorry? >> the modern camps i listed. i listed saudi arabia. -- [yelling] >> i didn't say that is -- [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] this is an open discussion too. okay. [inaudible conversations] go ahead. >> good evening. you mentioned -- [inaudible] can we have seven people? >> good evening. you mentioned -- [inaudible] >> sorry? [inaudible conversations] >> okay. good evening. you mentioned accountability in your speech. i want to talk about iran.
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three years ago, the people attempted to rise up, regime came in cracked down, murdered, rape, terrorize and the revolution failed unfortunately. why in my light of what you said, why do you work for press tv iranian state broadcaster? >> that's a good point. if you read the book, you will see that i'm very critical about whaptd after the elections and saying in fact the uprising started in iran was elite people and students. and the way they were oppressed and torture sometime unacceptable. my take on iran is exactly the same as my take on any country. it's not black and white. with press tv, you have two different people. people who are conservative and people who are reformist. when i was talking with three people, i took three months to
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decide if it was going work. i went there for two reasons. the first one is the -- working with a country. by saying i'm not going to accept anyone with who is -- because you are sunny you don't get to there. i want to, to be a voice where we have a dialogue. it's important. it's something that is a internal discussion i want to have we shii had. the second if you watch my programs that i have ever week, you will see the type of angle for which i come to the discussion, and also hoping and helping the reformist tradition. it's not because, you know, we have a very demonized perception of ish we have to reduce iran to one trend. in iran we have people who are working within and they are doing a good job. i'm on their side. on the side of the people who are resisting the conservative trend and opening up toward more open view in democracy, age
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sometimes you have to be there and not to comprise. and you will see something i'm also in can tar working there. and many people you're not asking about cay tar. but katar is on political terms. problematic, if you read the book you see i'm critical. i won't surprise on principles. being there by being critical on the way in iran and being critical. it's for me to weigh you deal with people that are supporting your principles and there is something they will never do. it's demonizing people in a black and white. i never when i was -- of the country i never confused the bush administration with the american people. if i would have done this, it would have been a catastrophe for the americans. so i think we have -- it's serious. it's serious. why, for example, to go on cnn n and people who are working and promoting their american perception. you know what they are doing in
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the world. it's being critical by sticking to your principles. so no black and white political position but stick to your principles. >> whatever makes you sleep at night. you work for mass murders. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> okay. >> go ahead. [inaudible conversations] [laughter] >> yes. thank you, professor. i'm glad you are able to, with us tonight money e e question for you relates bag to a comment you made earlier today in which you mentioned the arab awakening as you call it is not about us. we send to be intha people tend view everything as reinvolving around them. the awakingens is not about americans or people in europe. at the same time if you could deliver to president obama or a member, you know, a leader in europe sort of a one or two minute sort of a policy position
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as to how they could create a consistent position across countries when talk about egypt, syria, baa bahrain. what wowmentd you say to them? thank you. >> in one minute. i would ask for three hours. anyway look. i think that there is only one thing that i wanted to say to any inside government. it's really being consistent with your principles. this kind of selective approach when you support dictators sometimes you support democrats sometimes and in fact the only thing this is a is important for you, it's your short term interest. this is something which at the send going to act against you. it's counter productive. i think the american government, you know, people who are happy with obama being elected now they are dispoibted with what
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was not done. but at the end, the united states of america have a very bad reputation in the arab world. and it's from sometimes sometimes it's right. the way they are dealing with the people. the they they are know neglecting people. i'm sorry, when you read the newspaper and you watch tv, you have a sense that the blood of arab is more valuable than the blood of americans. and if a civilization is getting this sense, there's something wrong. you have to value the blood of people. you have to value innocence of the arabs as much as you value the blood of innocent americans. i would say to the president, be consistent with your principles, and support more the people less the armies. even egypt. and be consistent with israel

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